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It was a new dawn for Robinson Services Section One with the introduction of white-ball cricket as Derriaghy, Muckamore, Donacloney Mill and newly promoted Dundrum all started their campaigns with victories.
Muckamore will be considered amongst the title favourites this season after bringing back the likes of Neil Gill and Pavan Karthik, and they lay down an early marker with a 160-run win over Bangor. Batting first, the Moylena side posted 285-7 with captain Sam Gordon (93) leading from the front while being ably supported by Luke Allen (88*) and Jamie Magowan (41).
Not satisfied with just a superb batting performance, Gordon also went on to pick up figures of 4-23 as Bangor were bowled out for 125.
On The Mall, Morne Venter starred on debut for Derriaghy as they recorded a six-wicket victory over Armagh. Venter (2-28) and new captain Curtis Moorhead (3-26) helped reduce Armagh to 134 all out before the South African finished on 64* as the visitors reached the winning target inside 34 overs.
It was a team effort with the bat for Donacloney Mill that helped them get over the line away to Saintfield as Matty Lyttle (45*), Connor Woods (36*) and Shane Warren (34) all chipped in to chase down a target of 149 and secure a seven-wicket triumph. Adam Reid (61) and Gareth Harrison (42) starred for Saintfield but Timmy McClure (4-27) ensured that the total never got away from Donacloney.
In a clash of the two promoted teams at The Meadow in Dundrum, the home side picked up a two-wicket win over Lurgan after successfully chasing 171. Callum Gibson scored a fluent 43 for Lurgan – which included two sixes – before he was caught off the bowling of Rodney Hassard (2-15). Dundrum opener Stuart Campbell (86) was the anchor for his side, keeping his cool as wickets fell around him and was able to relieve the pressure by striking 13 boundaries in a 117-ball stay at the crease. Scott Symington (25) was one of only two other batsmen to reach double figures, but that was enough for Dundrum to pick up four points.
The runs were flowing in Robinson Services Section Two with Drumaness Superkings posting 280-6 – led by 59 from captain Neil Gelston - in a comprehensive 198-run victory over Monaghan.
David Sinton (96*) also played a skipper's knock as Laurelvale scored 246-6 before bowling Dunmurry out for 56.
Luke Willmott (87) was in fine touch for Cooke Collegians as they recorded a 25-run win against Ards & Donaghadee while Holywood won a low-scoring encounter with BISC.
Victoria also started the season with a win as after amassing 189-7 in their innings thanks to Garry McClune's top score of 36 they dismissed Larne for 64 to secure a 125-run triumph. Opening bowler Andy Gray the pick of the bowlers with 4-8.
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